A piquant sadness

Alika 7up
2 min readSep 10, 2023
Photo by Gleidson Gomes on Unsplash

It is raining now and I have called all the people who love me. Nobody’s around. I have called the people who I want to love me, they too are not available. Nobody has told me they want to love me.

I am very sick and I am alone tonight. When I am alone and I feel the weight of my aloneness, I turn to poetry to save me. Tonight is no different. I am listening to the Poetry Unbound podcast. I'm listening intently because to not do so is death, I can feel delirium's spindly fingers curl around my body. I cannot hear the poems, I'm reaching out for Padraig's voice, hoping the current of kindness washes over me, washes away the fever and the delirium.

It is raining and I have shut my windows, I never feel cold but tonight, I'm making sure to prevent it. I have lit my gas cylinder, I'm under three layers of clothing. Every breath hurts but I know I won't die; I have known pain worse than this and it didn't kill me. I don't like being a wuss about pain, I won't admit this but a big part of my success metric is how much pain I can take in silence. The pain that forms a humorous anecdote as I narrate it to my friend later and when they ask, "Are you okay?" I wave it off and respond, "of course I am, I'm here, aren't I?"

It is a tragic thing to suffer in a silence you did not choose. You’re a single antenna in a soggy field, facing the sky, waiting, just waiting. We do not see when the antenna starts to lose hope, all we know is it comes to face the ground and eventually falls onto it. This is why I chose to suffer in silence today, this is why I often choose it. Choosing silence was like Jesus in Gethsemane, I walked into it knowing I was not going to walk out. I had to retain my dignity; it was better to choose my silence than have it handed to me. But this night, I lost. My hands were outstretched and I called out in need but I met silence. This silence was not what I chose.